Kennedy Drinking Again: Book
Family fighting over Lion's legacy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2009 2:53 PM CDT
Former US Rep. Joe Kennedy arrives with his wife Beth at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, May 18, 2008, where his uncle Ted Kennedy was hospitalized.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Ted Kennedy’s grim health prognosis has driven him to drink, according to Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died, a new book from longtime Kennedy scribe Edward Klein. In an excerpt in Vanity Fair, Klein says Kennedy’s wife moved him to Florida after the seizure because his Hyannis friends were slipping him booze. Unnamed sources also say he was drinking the night before he collapsed on Inauguration Day.

Kennedy’s declining health also set off dynastic infighting. The family assumed wife Vicki, niece Caroline or nephew Joe would take up Ted’s Senate mantle. Joe “sees himself as the only serious heir apparent,” a source says, and everyone considers Vicki “an interloper.” Ted favored Caroline, and convinced her to pursue the New York opening. She withdrew from that race when her children intervened.